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Poster: smgarcia Date: Sep 20, 2008 11:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

Hi...I'm unsure of the kind of relationship these two had. I've read some of it in a few books, but I'm still not sure whether these two really liked being around each other, whether the Dead and Hells Angels were good friends, or whether it was a mutually beneficial relationship whereby the Dead would pay (or give beer) to the Hells Angels in exchange for backstage protection of their gear. I was just watching the Grateful Dead Movie and there are some snippets where people were rueing the time the HA would show up.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Partnership out of necessity? Good friends? Ambivalent relationship? Thx.

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Sep 20, 2008 5:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

I found this interview with Ralph "Sonny" Barger, former President of the Oakland HAMC Chapter where he discussed his relationship with Jerry:

Interviewer:
What about the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia?
Sonny Barger:
Jerry Garcia was a very good friend of mine. Jerry and I got along well, Jerry and the club got along well. I love Jerry's 60s music; I didn't like Jerry's 90s music. I would go to a concert and he would get the band to play a song just for me and I'd say, "Jerry it stinks, you got to go back," and he would get so mad."

I would imagine the Dead and the Angels got along for one main reason and that is that the band gave respect to the HAMC. From what I have read it sort of began when HA member Chocolate George, a much loved Angel got killed, the Grateful Dead & Big Brother & The Holding Company did a memorial show in the Haight for Chocolate George back around '66 or '67. (Big Brother did many a HA benefit show. The cover of Cheap Thrills has the HAMC emblem and the words "approved by Hells Angels" on it.)
They liked each other, who knows why?

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2008-09-21 00:19:08

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 21, 2008 8:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

Thanks SD; recall that interview and Sonny...interesting stuff with Jerry.

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Poster: the_full_monte Date: Sep 21, 2008 6:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

"I love Jerry's 60s music; I didn't like Jerry's 90s music."

That makes two of us (with a few exceptions).

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Poster: He Live's Date: Sep 20, 2008 8:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: THEY WERE AT KESEYS

in one way or another, the dead scene has always revolved around a degree of DANGER... there would be sex, drugs, rock & roll, and the feeling that it was gonna be a bit of a free-for-all.... not just a carnival atmosphere, but a feeling you were "off the grid" and maybe even, about to enter another plane of consciousness.

whether by design or not, the dead and danger were always one and the same.... and the Hell's Angels, those guys WERE AT KESEY'S.... i mean, give me a break -- the HELL'S ANGELS came up with the GD out of the same bunch of 2nd and 3rd generation WEST COAST SETTLERS and former Beatniks/Beats .... SONNY BARGER was in tight from the pre-beginning with the dead....

i think it was kind of like, your big brother's buddy has a motorcycle gang, and sometimes they drink too much and hurt someone.... but mostly, they was cool..... i think all of the GD's entanglement with the Angels was in the early years.... and once the contracts got too big and the HA fucked up to many times -- that was that....

then i guess they REALLY got into drug dealing........




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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Sep 20, 2008 1:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

Wasn't Pig an Angel? That would cement the connection for sure if it's true...

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Poster: user unknown Date: Sep 20, 2008 2:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

Although Ron McKernan "cultivated" a biker look and lifestyle, I don't think he was a HA patch holder.

As far as the relationship between GD and HA, I think it may have run a little deeper than convience. After all, on 1/1/67 Grateful Dead(and others) played a HA thank you party because the Haight Ashbury community helped to bail "Chocolate George" out of jail. And I believe there was a NY Benefit show to raise bail money for an incarcerated patch holder as well.

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Poster: patourkid Date: Sep 20, 2008 3:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

Yeah I think Jerry was cool with them more than anybody else(except maybe Pig). I remember reading somewhere that Bobby REALLY didn't like them being around and complained about it quite frequently. I think they were around more for entertainment than anything...Jerry LOVED freaks and the HA WERE as freaky as it comes. That on top of the fact that they had PILES of speed which you don't read about that often as being a big part of the scene, but it was!!! I think I remember hearing that Parish was given a bike by the Angels (first step to becoming "an affiliate") I may be wrong about that though. And no Pig was DEF not a "full patch" Angel.

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Sep 20, 2008 5:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

I believe Pigpen was made an "honorary" Hells Angel by the New York Chapter. The club President would place a bottle on Pigpen's keyboard.
Mickey Hart and Steve Parish both received custom Harley Davidson's from club members as gifts.
On occasion the HAMC provided motorcycle escorts for the band to gigs if they were running late.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Sep 20, 2008 3:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

I haven't seen that Hell's Angel movie with Jerry in it for quite awhile. What was the name of it?

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Poster: patourkid Date: Sep 20, 2008 3:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

"Hells Angels Forever" was the name of the movie I believe. Had a few big names in it.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 20, 2008 12:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

I think you have summed up the complexity and confusion nicely. My guess is that it was all of these things.

I can imagine Jerry thinking since they had to have some security, why not use a "counter culture alternative" and avoid the establishment and its entanglements? Then of course, they find it comes with some costs of its own, and probably end up regretting it.

But, I can see how it sounded good at the time.

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Poster: cousinkix1953 Date: Mar 2, 2010 5:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

" the HA WERE as freaky as it comes. That on top of the fact that they had PILES of speed which you don't read about that often as being a big part of the scene, but it was!!!"

I knew a HA who had a house full of that shit in prescription drug bottles. He sold them just like getting your meds at a Walgreens. Crank never interested me; but that guy used to have at least two pounds of weed in the stash box under his e-z chair. We used to get very stoned, when I went over there...

This post was modified by cousinkix1953 on 2010-03-03 01:24:06

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 21, 2008 8:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

Here's another clip with Jerry talking about them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSdxW465ag0

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Sep 21, 2008 8:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Relationship b/w Hells Angels and Dead

That interview clip is from a Hells Angels movie that Jerry helped finance. In the movie you actually see the guy Jerry was describing! There was a longer clip from it on YouTube I was unable to find again that showed Jerry, Billy, Merle & John Kahn playing a Hells Angels wedding on a boat in NY Harbor ("The Pirates Ball") in 1973. After vows were exchanged, (with Jerry and the guys playing wedding music in the background) they go into a hot version of Thats Alright Mama!

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2008-09-22 03:37:37